This edition of NetSpeak explores the ever-expanding world of tech videos and its sources.

Comprehending a tech subject by just reading about it is generally difficult for an ordinary netizen despite its lucidity. On the contrary, communication can be made more effective if one explains/demonstrates it through some visual means. Tech entrepreneurs and enthusiasts have recognised this need and the proliferation of tech videos across the Net attests to this observation. Here, we will have a quick roundup of some of the tech video sources available on the Net.

A Net connected computer is always vulnerable to external threats. It is always good to know the various security risks that loom large in our digital life. In this regard, the video hosting service Security Tube ( http://www.securitytube.net/) that hosts a plethora of security video tutorials assumes significance. Here you can find simple and comprehensible video tutorials on a variety of security related issues. For instance, the video on the utility Dig — the tool that helps us find the IP address and other details of a domain name (such as ‘thehindu.com’) — is a good example (http://tinyurl.com/ydndx7r).

Apart from Dig, several other network security tools exist such as Netcat and Wireshark. Though these tools are commonly adopted by network administrators, lay users may also find them useful. If you wish to learn more about them, check out the tutorials available at Security-freak (http://www. security-freak. net/videos.html).

‘Best tech videos’ ( http://www.bestechvideos.com/) is a good location to discover a good collection of videos pertaining to tech subjects. This service receives content from its users and (after verification) presents them under categories such as business, technology and databases. If you are an MS-Excel user, you may enjoy the series on Excel (http://www.bestechvideos. com/tag/mrexcel).

Another serious contender in this realm is the tech tutorial site Butterscotch ( http://www.butterscotch.com/tutorials.html) that offers easy-to-follow tutorial videos on a variety of technology related themes such as tech breaking news, trends and utilities. Creating a resume in MS-Word ( http://www.butterscotch.com/tutorial/Create-A-Resume-In-Microsoft- Word-2007) and ‘Google Reader and RSS feeds’ ( http://www.butterscotch.com/tutorial/Learn-About-Google-Reader-And-RSS-Feeds) are some of the videos available here.

If you are hunting for educational videos on application packages such as Flash, MS-Word, MS-Excel, MS- Access and the like, check out the site Techvideos (http: // www.techvideos.com/).Gotmyidea ( http://www.gotmyidea.com/), a portal that hosts links to video tutorials on a wide array of tech subjects such as Javascript, HTML, PHP and the like is another link worth a visit.

Yet another tech video site worth a mention is Woopid ( http://www.woopid.com/), where tutorial videos on themes such as Internet, Ubuntu and Windows can be found. The tutorial ‘intro duction to Google Docs’— http://www.woopid.com/video/1104/Google-Docs-Introduction) — is a good example.

Learning Linux or wish to know more about some of the admin tools? If so, move over to the site FOSSCasts (http://fosscasts.com/) that hosts screen casts on various open source tools/programs. As the episodes are short (each episode lasts for about ten minutes only) gratification is almost instantaneous.

Statistics is an important subject whose application cut across almost all other disciplines. If you wish to know more about various statistical analysis tools, access the statistics video tutorials hosted here: http://www.microbiologybytes.com/maths/videos.html.

Video search service

As mentioned earlier, a huge variety of videos pertaining to almost all topics are available on the Net. Naturally, finding the ones relevant to your academic discipline is a daunting task. The academic video search engine Yovisto ( http://www.yovisto.com/) that indexes educational videos hosted by universities and other organisations assumes relevance in this context.

Google Dashboard

Apart from its search engine, we use a variety of services from Google such as Gmail, Blogger, Google Docs and Google alerts. However, to access/manage each of these services, we need to visit the respective web sites. To help access/manage these services with ease, Google has launched a new application called Google Dashboard (https:// www.google.com/dashboard/). Google Dashboard can be considered as a launching pad for accessing different Google services you use. Aside this, it offers you the facility to manage all your Google accounts from a single interface. The dashboard supports around ten services that include Blogger, Gmail, Docs and Alerts.

Google script converter

It is likely that we understand the spoken version of a regional language, but may not be able to read the text written in that language. For instance, you may understand spoken Hindi, but may not be able to read it. However, if one obtains this Hindi content in his/her favourite language script, say English, (that is, the Hindi text converted to its phonetic equivalent in English), she will be able to read/comprehend it. For such requirements, Google script converter (http://scriptconv.googlelabs.com/) could come in handy. This application supports languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and English.

Typing tutor

We have introduced several on-line tools meant for learning/enhancing typing skills. Powertyping ( http://www.powertyping.com/) is yet another free typing tutor encountered by NetSpeak recently.

Ebook search engine

Tens of hundreds of e-books on a variety of subjects are available on-line. Many of them are available for free download. If you are looking for a means to find e-books relevant for your work, enlist the service of the e-book search engine ‘Free Book’ ( http://www.freebook-s.com/).

Web2pdf converter

While on a web page, you may wish to save it in PDF format directly from the browser for sharing/managing its content easily. The free on-line service Web2PDF converter ( http://www.web2pdfconvert.com/Default.aspx) serves this need with ease- just enter the web page address and click on the ‘Convert’ button’. To facilitate the process further, it offers a browser add-on too. Once this add-on is integrated with the browser you can convert the current page by just clicking on the ‘web2pdf’ button from the toolbar.

Communication can be made more effective if one demonstrates it through some visual means. Tech entrepreneurs have recognised this need and the proliferation of tech videos across the Net attests to this observation.